If content is king, where are its loyal subjects?
Web, social networking and mobile technologies are transforming customer-business relationships, and revolutionizing business processes. Consumers have hijacked the entrenched B2C (business to consumer) marketing model, and reversed the formula. The result is an absolute shift in power from marketers to consumers. The bidirectional and real-time nature of web, social and mobile requires marketers to have relevant information in the right place at the exact time consumers are seeking it.
C2B (consumer to business) marketing isn’t the future. It’s here. Right now.
Consumers are in control and have the skills and tools to search, collect information, compare, purchase, write reviews, and provide you the data and insights your organization needs to stay relevant. “Content is king,” decree marketers everywhere – and businesses are churning content like never before. But without strategy, the monarch has no kingdom. Or at least no loyal subjects.
Content marketing is strategy, not just production of information in all its forms.
Understanding customer needs at different stages in the buying cycle is critical to formulating effective content and channel marketing strategies. What a customer wants or needs to know, terms she searches on, places she goes, social topics she connects with, inquiries she initiates and the actions she takes, can vary significantly across the purchasing decision process.
Content marketing success requires a thorough understanding of:
- Consumer needs at different stages of the buying cycle
- The role of search and social interaction across the decision cycle
- What constitutes relevant, valuable information, tools and relationships
- Where consumers discover, consume and share information
- Real-time accessibility, engagement and connectivity
- Listening, learning and adapting services, products and experiences
Harnessing the power of content marketing is vital to patient acquisition and retention.
More than ever, patients are seeking healthcare information, sharing experiences and selecting treatments and providers online. And the vast majority of online health related discussions take place without input from healthcare professionals. Essential tasks for healthcare marketing leaders are:
- Learning about and helping providers understand how web, social and mobile have changed consumer and patient behaviors;
- Creating a C2B content marketing strategy, executing across the right marketing channels and using methods that will have the most impact;
- Mobilizing marketers, administrators, managers, physicians, clinicians and business partners to execute content strategies that educate, inform and build loyal relationships with patients, families and staff.
Next up: Part 2 – developing a robust content marketing architecture to guide investments.